LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A statue dedicated to the victims of the 1 October shooting was found damaged, but the creator of the "Love and Courage" sculpture said he believes a lone vandal broke the statue.
Artist Bobby Jacobs and his wife Elizabeth Bryan-Jacobs created the statue and donated it to the Las Vegas Community Healing Garden in honor of the first anniversary of the 1 October shooting. Installation for the statue began in late September and the statue was dedicated on Oct. 1.
According to Jacobs, Tom Perrigo, the City of Las Vegas executive director of community development, notified him via email the statue had been damaged sometime between Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.
Perrigo told Jacobs in their correspondence that the valley's recent windy weather, or possibly the rain, had been the most likely culprit, but Jacobs said he didn't believe Perrigo's reason.
"I was like, "What?!'" Jacobs said. "It's impossible for that sculpture to fall down. That sculpture is solid stone, cemented together with steel rods inside."
According to Jacobs, the stone material he used for "Love and Courage" is sourced from a quarry in upstate New York, which has constant freezing temperatures in the winter. He said it was very unlikely weather was a factor that caused the damage to the statue.
Jacobs added he told Perrigo it was far more likely someone "saw a crack at the top of the statue, put a tool in the crack and pounded it with a hammer. This sculpture will come apart perfectly if you do that."
Diana Paul, a spokesperson for the Public Affairs Office for the City of Las Vegas, said in an email to FOX5 the city's first priority was to remove the broken wings since they were considered a hazard.
"Our first priority is to get them moved so no one gets hurt at the garden," Paul said. "We’ll work with the artist to figure out next steps."
Get Outdoors Nevada, the group who manages the Healing Garden, said they did not know what happened to the statue.
"We are working with the artist and the City to determine the best remedy," a spokesperson said.
Jacobs said this was the second time the "Love and Courage" sculpture had been damaged. In a letter he emailed to Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Jacobs mentioned how the plaque on the statue had been removed two days prior to the statue's dedication.
"This person does not want this sculpture in the Healing Garden," Jacobs said.
In his letter to Mayor Goodman, Jacobs wrote if he and his wife had been aware of a policy having to do with names or the words "donated by," they would have left the plaque with just the name of the sculpture and the artist's name.
In a follow-up email to Jacobs, Perrigo said he was working to find a more "highly visible location" for the statue. According to Jacobs, he has already looked into four possible locations, all on private property, for his work.
The next steps for Jacobs and his wife are to raise money to get the statue fixed and to find a new location.
"It's gotta be moved, I don't want this person ruining my sculpture again," Jacobs said.